Responsible beneficiary: Horsens Munic./RM

Targeted regulation of fertilizers to obtain sustainable intensification.
Investigating the potential for natural break-down of pollutants in the subsurface groundwater.

Aims and objectives of the project

The goal in pilot Horsens is to gain knowledge and data on a local scale and describe the pathways and chemistry of groundwater through the uppermost 30 meter of the soil.

Without being too technical, a waterdrop percolating through the groundwater system can pass both aerobic and anaerobic parts of the soil. If we are able to describe these pathways on a local scale we can describe where pollutants like nitrate, pesticides, oil etc. are broken down, - not vulnerable and vulnerable areas can be pointed out. Climate change can change these patterns.

The regulation of agriculture is today done by general terms. The regulation is focussing on large areas within the catchment. By targeting the regulation on the most vulnerable areas the production of crops can increase and water quality improve at the same time. The calculated effect of a targeted regulation will greatly depend on the scale by which to indicate the vulnerability/resilience. By estimation at the catchment scale it will only be possible to differentiate between farms in different catchments. By estimation on the property level it will be possible to differentiate between different parts of the farmfields. In terms of polluted sites (e.g. landfills and old industrial sites) it is also crucial to describe the chemical conditions of the plume with the same techniques. A number of polluted sites within the pilot area or in similar geological settings will be tested and described with the developed methods.

The objectives are:

  • Compile existing data on surface water flow and quality, groundwater level and quality a.m.
  • Review with farmers or other stakeholders what important local knowledge on vulnerability they may have
  • Map surface and uppermost 30 m subsurface using different geological and geophysical methods partly developed within the project
  • Review and selection of instruments/data already in use or collected by local farmers that can be used in project.
  • Establish a “handmade” and a computer initiated groundwater/geological model of the area with special focus on pathways and chemical setting including climate scenarios. Compare the results of the two models.
  • Develop a management system for change in cultivation practice/regulation or changed management of polluted sites.
  • Preparation of a monitoring program

Stakeholders are land owners, water company, farmers, region, municipality, ministry of Environment and nature.

Shared challenges number 1, 4, 5


An optic sensor in combination with a weir ensures continues flow measurements. Water samples are analysed to check water quality in relation to nitrate and phosphor.